If Fairview could have fielded a combined track and field team at Saturday’s Class A State Track and Field Championships, the Eagles and Lady Eagles would have had a record day. Instead, the Fairview girls had to “settle” for fifth, while the boys’ claimed 10th.
“We got fifth, two points short of our goal (to place fourth). But, it’s still the highest finish for the girls (at state) since 2004,” Lady Eagle coach Bob Stacey said. “A lot of the credit goes to my assistants Becca (Stacey) and Mandy Musick.”
Senior Mason Rutherford scored all of the Eagles’ points by winning the high jump, placing second in the triple jump and third in the long jump.
Senior Paige McKnight won the first title of her career by claiming the 100-meter hurdles, while junior Morgan McIntyre added another trophy to her mantle after winning her fourth straight state pole vault crown. This time was a little more special, however, as she set a KHSAA Class A record after clearing 10-07. She took three tries at 11 feet, but just could not add to her record.
“Paige scored 18.25 of our 36 points and Morgan set a state record, which is what she was shooting for all year,” Stacey said. “And for the boys, Mason Rutherford had an outstanding meet. He scored 24 points by himself. I hope this gives him some exposure to college coaches who might give him a chance to run track in college.”
Rutherford won the high jump by clearing 6-6, six inches higher than the next closest competitor. He was second in the triple jump with a mark of 42-11.25. He nearly missed out on second place in the long jump, leaping 21-10 one and one-quarter inches shy of runner-up Aaron Jackson of Frankfort.
“I’m pleased, but I wanted to get first in two events, but I can’t complain,” he said. “I am just looking forward to going to college next year and play football and maybe run track.”
McKnight was overjoyed at winning the 100m hurdles and threw her hands up in exhilaration as she crossed the finish line.
“I’m not surprised, I’m just happy. I knew I could do it. I was just nervous. But, I just stepped up and focused on my race and nothing else,” she said.
McKnight followed up that performance by placing third in the 300-meter hurdles and eighth in the 100-meter dash.
“I was just as nervous as (Paige) was (about her 100-meter hurdles). She’s one of the hardest workers ever,” McIntyre said.
That work ethic was recognized when she received the Forcht Bank/Kentucky National Insurance Uncommon Excellence Award at the conclusion of the meet.
In addition to earning both her second state title and state record this year (she accomplished both feats at the indoor meet), McIntyre also added a 10th-place finish in the 400-meter dash on Saturday.
The foursome of McIntyre, McKnight, junior Maddy Rymer and sophomore Haley Layne, capped off the day with a fourth-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay.
Rymer, Layne, senior Brooklyn Bowen and freshman Lyndsey Burke began the morning by taking fifth in the 4x800-meter relay.
“We had a very strong team and for us to get fifth with only nine girls is amazing. Everyone is such a hard worker that I knew if we all did one thing today, we’d be successful,” she said. “We put in a lot of hard work for this meet.”
Raceland senior Cole Thomas placed second in the shot put with a toss of 48’04.00”, while sophomore Connor Messer took third in the pole vault after clearing 13 feet and third in the high jump.
“I was very pleased with Cole Thomas, because going in we knew he had a chance to go anywhere from one to three and he finished as the runner-up. He threw his best at the biggest meet of the season,” Raceland coach Randy Helton said. “We’re proud of both of them. We won our region, won several meets, so we were just really proud of the boys. For us to score 20 points is just incredible.
“Our parents have been huge, because they didn’t have a place to practice and they were a huge part of our success and we are real glad for their support,” he added. “It’s why the kids performed so well. I hope we can build on this year for the future.”
Rose Hill’s Olivia Kee single-handedly led the Lady Royals into 23rd-place by crossing the finish line fifth in the 300m hurdles (48.22) and seventh in the 100m hurdles (16.78).
Raceland Lady Ram junior Makenzi Speaks earned a quarter of a point for her team by finishing in a four-way tie for eighth in the high jump.
That total tied the Lady Rams for 38th.
St. Henry District captured the girls’ team title with 130.25 points. Fairview scored 36 points, six ahead of sixth-place Fort Campbell.
On the boys’ side, Fort Campbell won the meet with 78 points, while Fairview tallied 24 for 10th and Raceland scored 20 to end in a two-way tie for 12th.